Regatta General Manager Christian Krempl joined Oceania Cruises in 2008, after waiting two years for an interview. He first became interested in Oceania Cruises in 2005 after hearing that they served the “finest cuisine at sea.” Considering Mr. Krempl’s passion for food, he was intrigued by a company that had the confidence to make such a claim and could also support it. In 2006 he submitted his CV to the Vice President of Hotel Operations, but unfortunately there were no positions open at the time. Two years later Mr. Krempl received the call to come to Venice for an interview. He started with Oceania Cruises the next day.
Chief Housekeeper Gaby Cabello, Receptionist Alina Ciobica, Concierge Conny Hammelmann, Assistant Housekeeper Nataliya Kotlenko, and General Manager Christian Krempl on the Grand Staircase of Regatta
At the young age of 14, Mr. Krempl began his training at hotel school in Austria, the country he still calls home today. From age 16 to 20, he trained as a waiter and chef at leading hotels in Austria and Switzerland. In 1988 he landed his first job with a cruise line and has never looked back. He moved from dining room waiter to sommelier, cellar master, head waiter, chief steward, maitre d’, and hotel manager. He is now General Manager onboard Regatta and oversees the hotel operations of the entire ship. He is thrilled to be working with such a wonderful crew.
“We have a fantastic team,” says GM Krempl. “We have 396 hard-working crew members…We have 45 different nationalities, so that’s very rewarding, and that’s the most interesting part to work with them on a daily basis to try to give the best service that we can to our guests.”
GM Krempl’s workday begins early and lasts well into the evening. He starts by ensuring breakfast service is properly set up and enjoys a cup of coffee himself. Then he is off to various inspections, checking maintenance of staterooms, tasting food, meeting with department heads, keeping up with emails, and many other duties. He ensures everything is shipshape in the spa, the casino, the restaurants, and all other venues onboard, and he also checks to see that the shore excursions are running smoothly. Soon it’s time to begin dinner service and to make sure everyone is enjoying the evening entertainment. Of course, a large part of GM Krempl’s job is interacting with the guests, one of the most important ways he ensures that everyone’s experience is up to Oceania Cruises’ high standards.
While his spare time is limited, GM Krempl does like to go ashore when possible, especially to sample the local fare at a particular port. Recently in Honfleur, he was able to enjoy some cheese, sausage, and moules frites (mussels and fries) at a shoreside restaurant. When asked if he has a favorite port of call, GM Krempl has a tough time choosing. After all, he has visited nearly every country in the world, although he says the Galapagos Islands of Ecuador are a notable exception. He has even visited Antarctica on four different occasions, all of which were fascinating (although he does admit that four visits are probably enough). He looks forward to all of Regatta’s upcoming itineraries including the Mediterranean, the Caribbean, the Amazon, and Oceania Cruises’ first venture into Alaska. GM Krempl hasn’t visited Alaska since 1997 and is excited to return and see what has changed.
Running a cruise ship does sometimes have its challenges, and GM Krempl has been around for the biggest ones of the past few years, from a labor strike to an earthquake to an Icelandic ash cloud. Krempl has high praise for the support they received from Oceania Cruises’ corporate office during these events.
“It was incredible how much help we had from shoreside. Everybody was there, for the earthquake, for example, in Valparaiso they right away flew in some executives from Oceania. [They were] there making sure everything runs smooth, assisting us and helping the guests, getting a whole picture of the situation, so this was done very, very quickly. In a couple of hours they were on a plane on their way to us and the same way with the ash cloud….It’s incredible how fast we get a response if we need help. Within hours, sometimes even less.”
GM Krempl, Blogger-at-Large Lisa Pancake Fossland, and Grand Dining Room Waiter Francisco Lopez Molina
Happily, such occurrences are rare, and for the most part life onboard the ship is smooth sailing. GM Krempl and his staff work hard to ensure that the experience of all guests onboard Regatta meets Oceania Cruises’ high standards of excellence in every way. The secret to maintaining such high standards starts at the top.
“I think what makes the biggest difference, I mean, I’ve worked for some other nice companies, good companies, but here you only have nice people that you work with, and the way we can treat each other, respect each other, this message comes from the office in Miami. It starts with Mr. Del Rio; it’s just the way he allows us to manage here onboard…And more than 75% of the crew members, they’re coming back to Oceania because they enjoy it.”
The truth of this philosophy is evident in the warm, genuine smiles of the crew and their eagerness to ensure that every guest’s experience is flawless. It is why inevitably on an Oceania Cruise, you will find that some crew members become friends, and on your next cruise they are often there to welcome you back onboard. GM Krempl and his staff are most definitely an essential part of what sets Oceania Cruises apart from all others. If you’re planning to be onboard Regatta soon, be sure to say hello!